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Peru Textile and Clothing Exports Up 7%, U.S. Leads Growth

Exports of textiles and garments from Peru reached $272 million in the first two months of the year, a 7 percent increase over the same period last year and most of that growth was owed to increased demand from the U.S. market.

According to a monthly export report released by Peru’s Integrated Information System for Foreign Trade (SIICEX), textile exports to the U.S. were up 12.2% compared to 2013 as American brands sought more product from the country known for its quality cotton and quick turn.

The U.S. bought mostly polo shirts, Peru’s specialty, spending an additional $5 million over last year on the garments.

High-end brands like POLO Ralph Lauren, Theory, Lacoste, Burberry consistently turn to Peru to manufacture polo shirts and basics because the long staple cotton quality is rarely matched elsewhere and production standards are first rate.

Many of Peru’s leading textile manufacturers are vertically integrated, eliminating the need to import raw materials or outsource washing or sewing, which enables them to maintain quality and ensure better speed to market.

According to the export report, Venezuela was the second country to take in the most textiles and garments from Peru with exports up 36.9% over the same time last year to $44 million. Colombia followed with a 27.7% growth in exports from Peru, and Brazil with an additional 19.1% of exported goods compared to 2013.

Cotton T-shirts and polo shirts were the leading products produced, but Peru is getting into knitting with elastomeric yarn, an area that saw 313.6% growth. The U.S. spent an additional $10 million on elastomeric yarn knits over last year.

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Peru continued to display its export capability at the country’s annual international trade show PeruModa last week.

The three-day event held from April 9 to 11 brought together 350 exhibitors showcasing their latest apparel products and Peruvian handicrafts, manufacturing capabilities and quality levels.

René Cornejo Diaz, president of the Peruvian Council of Ministers, opened the trade show saying Peru has become a globally integrated nation and that PeruModa is a commitment to diversifying and strengthening the country’s export capacity.

Diaz also highlighted the participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in PeruModa that maintain product design and manufacturing quality to compete in the international market. According to Diaz, PeruModa is expected to bring in business orders worth $120 million.

Speaking on the sidelines of PeruModa, Pedro Gamio Palacio, president of Peru’s Association of Exporters (ADEX), which represents 65 percent of the country’s apparel companies, said he attributes the annual garment export growth to Peru’s more than 2,000 years of textile heritage. Because of the longstanding knowledge of textile manufacturing quality is never sacrificed, which is what keeps high-end brands producing in Peru.